Tottenham Hotspur 3
Two goals from Harry Kane helped Spurs maintain the pressure on their north London neighbours in the battle for fourth place and Champions League qualification with this comprehensive victory.
Spurs are now a point behind the Gunners with a far superior goal difference and, with two games each to play, have an easier run-in than Arsenal.
Spurs face Burnley at home on Sunday and then relegated Norwich away in the season finale, while Arsenal are at Newcastle on Monday, ending with a home fixture against Everton.
A moment of madness by defender Rob Holding after 32 minutes put paid to any chance that Arsenal might have entertained of getting anything from this high pressure fixture.
Having already been booked six minutes earlier for his constant rough treatment of Heung-Min Son, with whose pace he just couldn’t cope, he swung an elbow in the face of the flying South Korean.
The only surprise was that referee Paul Tierney showed him a second yellow card, rather than the offence warranting a straight red.
Spurs were already a goal to the good after Harry Kane had sent Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way from the penalty spot on 20 minutes after Cedric Soares had smashed into Son’s back in the box.
Barring the opening exchanges, Spurs pinned Arsenal back, allowing them few forays towards goal.
A well-timed tackle in front of goal by Cedric Soares on Kane thwarted the England captain after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had slid the ball along the six yard box.
If the opening half hourbhad been difficult for Arsenal, reduced to 10 men, they had no answer to the home side’s pace and solid defence.
And heads noticeably dropped when Kane stopped to nod in at the far post after Rodrigo Bentancur had flicked on Son’s corner.
Arsenal’s only real chance of the first period came when Eddie Nketiah’s effort from the angle of the box was tipped over with a tremendous leap by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Within a minute of the restart, Spurs were out of sight when Son latched on to a loose ball in the box and hammered it into the roof of the net.
The home side were content to retain possession and see out the match, although more chances did come their way.
A wonderful cross by Kane to Emerson Royal saw a header from the Brazilian defender bring a superb one-handed save from Ramsdale.
The Arsenal stopper then tipped over a 25-yard screamer from Kane and Son might have done better from six yards, although the ball appeared to bobble before he struck it.
The visitors had a couple of half chances, but that was all.
A goal-bound shot from Bukayo Saka was cleared on the ground by Ben Davies and Martin Odegaard brought Lloris to a save low down.
Spurs manager Antonio Conte said: "A lot of people tell me that Tottenham is not good to live with the pressure but I think to become an important team you have to live with the right pressure, to bring the pressure and become positive.
“We have two games to go. Everything is open. There are no easy games in England.
"The confidence has to come from the work we are doing every day. For sure to win an important game against Arsenal, the importance of the game to our fans, has to give us confidence.
"When you win the confidence starts to increase but at the same time you have to not become presumptuous. This is the danger. I will try to keep the situation under control and push my players in the right way."
Conte went on: “The most important thing was to get three points. This way we continue to stay in the race for a place in the Champions League.
"Tonight was very difficult because when you must win it is never easy. I know the pressure that is on the shoulders of the players and on my shoulders.
“To play in this way with this intensity and this passion makes me very happy. I have to thank my players and the fans because the atmosphere was amazing.
“They pushed us from the start until the end. Now I ask our fans to do the same on Sunday because we have another must-win game against Burnley. We are playing against a team trying to avoid relegation."
Conte added: “We have to give thanks to our fans. They were incredible and pushed us a lot. We repaid them with a good win. “We won an important derby and now we are close to them in the table.
"Our fans, they are going to play an important role on Sunday. We need to go altogether.
“We are very close to reaching an important target for us. There are no easy games for us.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: "I cannot give you an honest assessment because I will be suspended for a long time. I like to be honest and I cannot give an honest assessment.
“I think you can read my body language very clearly."
"I am so proud of my players, this game is gone, we've lost it, we accept it. We move to Newcastle."
He added: "I am so proud of my players, this game is gone, we've lost it, we accept it. We move to Newcastle."
To read more on this story, subscribe to our new e-edition. Go to E-edition.jewishtelegraph.com.
If you have a story or an issue you want us to cover, let us know - in complete confidence - by contacting email@example.com, 0161-741 2631 or via Facebook / Twitter